As I mentioned in my first/intro OPS post, we’re looking at OPS differential by using expected (x)Homerun and expected (x)BABIP differentials. If you like Captain Planet or laser beams, or want to understand my general approach, then I recommend a gander. If you provide your email below, I can furnish the full list that you can sort. Wordpress doesn’t allow me to copy and paste it all pretty for you.

Let’s start with my xHR formula (PA*Ct%*OFFB%*HR/OFFB%). Here are the top 10 guys likely to drop off from a HR perspective: Albert Pujols, Adam Jones, Justin Morneau, Alexei Ramirez, Mark Reynolds, Charlie Blackmon, Ian Desmond, Brett Lawrie, Hunter Pence and Salvador Perez.

Here are the top 35 guys likely to drop off from a BABIP perspective that you actually might own (meaning I’m excluding the Martin Maldonados of the world): Josh Rutledge, Justin Ruggiano, A.J. Pollock, Josh Hamilton, Stephen Vogt, J.D. Martinez, J.J. Hardy, Eugenio Suarez, Hunter Pence and Matt Adams.

Looking at both xHR and xBABIP differentials, here are guys you might own that I would consider selling in OPS leagues based on their expected vs. actual OPS (the differential is in parenthesis just like this statement. See what I did here?):

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So it’s not really the 2nd half mark in the fantasy baseball season, but it’s the All-Star Break so what else are we going to talk about? Hell’s Kitchen? Is it even believable that these people would one day be in charge of a kitchen? There’s Real World castmates who seem like they have their shizz together better than these schmohawks. I like the one guy who burps a lot. He seems ready to run a kitchen! MasterChef, though, that show is the Sistine Chapel of reality shows. Okay, as with all of the other 2014 fantasy baseball rankings, take this list with a grain of salt. If you need a 2nd baseman, but an outfielder is above him that doesn’t mean you can’t trade the outfielder for the 2nd baseman. Also, things change in fantasy baseball. Daily. I could put Miggy number three on the top 100 list for the second half of 2014 and he could get in a fight with a bartender (not Tom Wilhelmsen) tomorrow, then he wouldn’t be number one. See how that works. This list is a road map for where I think guys are valued. It’s not the Holy Grail in the Church of Grey, that would be my mustache. This list is NOT (caps for emphasis, not aesthetics) where I see guys ending up if you were to take their first half and combine it with the 2nd half of their season. This is simply a list of the top hundred fantasy baseball players if you were to pick them up today. So while Carlos Santana did not have the greatest first half, he will appear on this list because I still believe. The projections are not their combined 1st half and 2nd half numbers; these are their projections for the 2nd half of 2014. I also liberally used our rest of the season Fantasy Baseball Player Rater. That’s right, we have a Player Rater that tells you what guys will do. Welcome to the future! Anyway, here’s the top 100 for fantasy baseball for the 2nd half of 2014:

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Let’s look at some potential homerun decliners based on the following “Power Score” or expected homerun (xHR) formula and compare it to their actual homerun totals. Here is the formula:

Plate Appearances(PA)*Contact Rate(Ct%)*Outfield flyball rate(OFFB%)*Homerun per Outfield Flyball ratio(HR/OFFB).

Make sense? Sure it does: How many homeruns does a player hit per outfield flyball? How much of their contact results in an outfield flyball? How much overall contact does a batter make when swinging the bat in a plate appearance? This should provide us with an expected HR total.

The below lists are ranked by the largest actual HR-expected HR differentials. Their HR related performance (PA, Ct, OFFB, HR/OFFB) is listed along with their average homerun and flyball average distance and rank.

Two contingencies worth noting at this time: 1) Our samples size still isn’t huge and 2) We’re not taking into account platoon hitters, i.e. Scott Van Slyke as a right-hand hitter only raking against left-hand pitchers. So when I extrapolate the data, keep this in mind. In other words, if Scott Van Slyke consumed more playing time against right-hand pitchers, there’s a good chance his performance/power would drop off.

Here are the top potential HR decliners (I think you will see the value of this xHR comp immediately):

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Ugh! Not another silly Grateful Dead reference and about their one commercial hit from 1987 at that. Seriously that song is the least Dead song in the history of Dead songs. It’s not my fault that Sonny Gray’s last name is Gray and not Sonny Darkstar or Sonny “Sugar” Magnolia. I wasn’t in charge of giving out sir names whenever that happened, so give me a break. Anythewho back to baseball! Today I get to advocate you drafting one of my favorite young arms in the game in Sonny Gray ($8,400). It’s crazy to think the 2011 first rounder hasn’t yet had a full season of major league ball. Since being called up to the bigs last July, Gray has gone 12-6 with ERA/FIP/xFIP of 2.82/3.03/3.22 with K/9 and BB/9’s of 8.45 and 2.98. 25 starts into his young career and Gray looks like an ace, or at least the best pitching arm produced by the A’s since the days of Barry Zito and Tim Hudson.

Gray is a nice mix of a groundball pitcher that also has the ability to punch guys out. This combination allows him to get deep into games while also being a model of consistency. He’s been so consistent that he’s only given up more than 3 runs in a start 4 times in his 25 turns. His ability to give our fake team’s quality innings with little worry of a meltdown is invaluable in all formats. I fully expect another high ceiling/ high floor start from Sonny today against the Marlins in Miami. Though the Marlins have certainly been far better than expected thus far in 2014, they aren’t without their flaws. For example, the fish have the second highest K% of any team in baseball with a 23.2%. This should setup nicely for Gray to put up 7 IP and 7-8 K’s. When looking at pitching in DraftKings format, my focus tends to be K’s and IP because that’s where your big points come from. The price on Gray is very nice today as well only costing a measly $8,400 compared to a half dozen other options in the 5 figure range. The Stream-o-Nator doesn’t love the start, but doesn’t hate it either, ranking Gray at 9 overall today and 5th best of the afternoon slate. The streamer is slightly coo-coo ranking Matt Cain and Gerrit Cole in the two spots ahead of Gray. I wouldn’t advocate you drafting either of those options today.

Over the last two weeks I’ve been organizing daily Razzball leagues on DraftKings and they’ve been a blast. We went from having trouble filling 10 teamers two weeks ago to consistently filling 20 team leagues every day for the last week. This is thanks in large part to Razzball’s great community of readers and writers. I’m making another jump today and organizing two 20 teamers, one for the early set that will kick off at 1:05 pm (EST) and another that will cover the night games kicking off at 7:05. The early league is $1 buy in with the top 3 taking home prizes and the late set is a $2 buy in with the top 3 once again taking home the cash. If you haven’t yet signed up for DraftKings you can do so here by clicking this link. The best part about signing up with us today is that DraftKings will give you a ticket for a free game just for joining. It’s a total win-win. If you’re interested in getting on the invite list for our Daily Leagues simply leave your DK username in the comments and I’ll add you to my ever growing friends list. Ohhh internet friendship!

BTW if you think I’m a dope of the highest caliber, you can always make your own informed decisions by consulting with our suite of tools here on Razzball. Check the Stream-o-Nator, DFSBot, and Hitter-Tron for all the info you need to make that money!

Without further ado, Razzball’s DraftKings picks for June 28th

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Well, you should be sorry, Ronald Belisario. You have been pretty rough on your owners since stepping into the closer role, testing the limits of SAGNOF and just how much pain a fantasy owner will endure to capture those elusive saves. Belisario was at it again last night and gave up three hits and two runs to the Blue Jays, recording just one out before being removed from the game. In just 12 innings pitched since inheriting the job, Ronny has surrendered 10 ER on 20 hits with three blown saves in in that time. More like RonaldO-No! Hey, a World Cup pun, how topical. In Belisario’s defense, he did manage eight saves during his stay as closer, but that’s more a testament to Manager Robin Ventura sticking with him this long. Well, Ventura has had enough. Alrighty then, Ventura, who’s your closer now? Jake Petricka finished out the game last night and notched his second save of the season. Petricka has a 2.08 ERA and 1.27 WHIP on the year and looks like the most likely choice to take over the closer role. Javy Guerra, Zach Putnam and Daniel Webb could also be names to watch and see chances were the Sox to go to a committee. Whatever the case, Ronald is out. And although he may not apologize for killing your ratios over the past month, you can drop him now, which is definitely something you won’t have to feel sorry about.

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My name is Tom Jacks and I’m here to admit that I have a fantasy baseball trade addiction. While I’ve been trying to do my best to keep it from getting out of hand, I’m pretty sure I’ve either made the most or am tied for making the most trades in every single league I’m in this year. So it should come as no surprise that one of my favorite times of the year is approaching in real baseball: trade season. With that in mind, I figured it would be worth taking a look at some of the players who could be traded and how it would affect their value in OBP leagues:

Please, blog, may I have some more?

If you’re familiar with Razzball, then you know about all of the handy tools. My favorite is the Stream-o-Nator (SON for short). It gives dollar values for pitchers specific to that day’s match-up and it’s the primary reason I’m recommending A.J. Burnett today against the Cubs. Burnett’s season has been inconsistent at best and he’s battling an injury that will likely last the whole year. He did however put together a really nice start his last time out and he’s a value play today at $7,700. SON likes his start $18, which ranks third overall for the day and is about $10 higher than an “average” start. The Cubs rank dead last in MLB against right handers with a 74 wRC+. Their 22.7% strikeout percentage against right-handed pitching is the fourth highest in baseball. Considering the price and the opponent, I like the risk/reward you’re getting today with Burnett. Happy Father’s Day!

If you are new to DraftKings, use our promo link to get started. New players that click on that link will get a free contest ticket with a first time deposit (only new users eligible). The winner of the contest gets entry into our $500k Showcase with a $100k top prize. Also, if you haven’t tried the DFSBot via Rudy, check it out: it compares projected values to actual DFS prices for the day. Here are some of today’s other picks for DraftKings contests on 6/15/2014…

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Growing up one of my favorite films was Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The movie has everything; boat chases; hot Austrian scholars turned Nazi’s, Sean Connery, Knights, the Holy Grail and one of the greatest scenes in movie history. If you haven’t seen it *spoiler alert*,(actually can you give a spoiler alert if a movie is 25 years old?) in one of the last scenes of the movie Indy has to go through a series of booby traps and make choices on how to conquer them based on his knowledge of Jesus. BT-dubs doesn’t booby traps seem like it could be Justin Verlander’s current issue? Maybe he’s trapped by the power of Kate Upton’s assets and spends most road trips locked in his hotel room getting to second base? Anyyyyy way where was I? Oh yeah the booby traps! After making his way through the obstacles Indy ends up in an old dusty room at the back of a cave guarded by one of a collection of Knights whose sole duty is to protect the Grail. In order for Indiana to get access to the Grail and save the day he must choose between bevies of gaudy cups and find the true Grail. At this moment the Knight urges him to choose wisely! If you haven’t seen it watch the clip here. Either way where I’m going with this is we are presented with a far less dramatic choice every day when playing daily fantasy games on DraftKings. There are several approaches and strategies and someone is lying if they tell you they approach each day’s games the same as the day before. Sometimes you’re better off investing in hitting, and other times you’re better off splashing the dollars on arms. No one approach holds true every day. For example for today’s early games the pitching options are limited to say the least and I couldn’t blame you for going cheap on pitching and spending on hitting. The night games are slightly better with Stephen Strasburg, Garrett Richards, and Shelby Miller all seeming like solid plays.

Speaking of choosing wisely, you can start your day of good choices off by playing DraftKings with us. In fact if you haven’t played DraftKings before you can play for free by signing up here. For all newbies and experienced players alike, I will post a link in the comments to play with me and some of the other Razzball writers in a league. Without further ado below are the Razzball picks for Saturday June 14th.

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Nolan Arenado left last night’s game with a left mallet finger fracture. Despite how it sounds, he suffered the injury sliding head first into second base, and not from a giant sledge hammer. That’s a broken middle finger for the laymans. The team is saying Arenado could be sidelined for 4-6 weeks, but likely more if he opts for surgery. Oh Nolan, you could really use that middle finger right about now. Arenado has been every bit the dream Coors third baseman we all thought he could be this year, triple slashing a mean .305/.333/.489, with six home runs and 28 RBI. This is just bad news. The good news? Razzball favorite and general disappointment to fantasy owners, Josh Rutledge will be called up to replace Arenado on the roster. I like to think anyone playing in Colorado is worth a look and JR is no exception, especially if you’re hurting at the hot corner. Rutledge did well in limited time with the Rockies in April, batting .318 with a home run in 22 ABs. He played 88 games in 2013, but struggled to hit for average despite flashing some speed and power, and was eventually sent down. In 12 team leagues, I might hold off on grabbing Rutledge until he shows us something, but I’ll be watching him as intensely as the last three episodes of Breaking Bad. Here’s hoping he can fill the Nolan Arenado-sized hole in our hearts until that finger fully heals.

Here’s what else happened in fantasy baseball Friday night:

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CC Sabathia is out until at least July. ESPN said, “The Yankees clearly want to save their ace for a late-season run, so will exercise caution, making sure to not rush a return.” Seriously, is ESPN purposely five years behind everyone else or do they try to anticipate what other people think and just feed off of that? Are they under the assumption that casual (read: lazy) fans think Sabathia is the Yankees ace, so they just go with that? Are they ignoring Tanaka? Are they afraid of upsetting Yankee fans? Do they think Yankee fans are stupid? I have questions, y’all! Sabathia hasn’t been an ace in two years and I see no return to that any time soon. Even if he loses another 75 pounds and grows back his belly, only now it’s from being malnourished, and he shows up at the ballpark with flies buzzing around his head. Chase Whitley will remain in the rotation now and he had a 10+ K/9, 2.4 BB/9 in Triple-A, but he wasn’t even a starter prior to this year and the Yanks are throwing crap against their dresser hoping it forms a pretty, flower-doily design. I wouldn’t mess with him outside of AL-Only leagues. Anyway, here’s what else I saw yesterday in fantasy baseball:

Please, blog, may I have some more?